While each nation participating in the World Cup has unveiled its list, let’s look at the favorites for this World Cup.
In 17 days, the best players in the world of rugby will compete in the 10th edition of the World Cup, which will take place in France (September 8 – October 28). The second on French soil after that of 2007. It’s a World Cup that promises to be particularly unpredictable, given the number of teams able to go all the Way. Crowned with the status of organizing country, France expected. Since taking office as coach of the XV of France after the 2019 World Cup, Fabien Galthié has built a group capable of offering French rugby its first star. Despite Romain Ntamack’s package, the Blues are not lacking in talent. Brought in the wake of Antoine Dupont at the top of his game, France is the favorite in this tournament. But beware, the XV of France has no margin over its rivals.
All-Time Favorites Teams:
- NEW ZEALAND
- SOUTH AFRICA
Is New Zealand on the Way to a 4th World Cup title?
In particular, New Zealand is present in the Poule and will act as the first opponent for the XV of France. Set back in recent years, and the All-Blacks intend to regain their usual standard by offering themselves a fourth Webb Ellis Cup to their credit. In addition to New Zealand, Ireland will play their Way. Winner of the Six Nations Tournament this year, the Green Army, sure of its rugby, hopes this time to break the Indian sign of the quarter-finals—a stage of the competition that the XV of Clover has never crossed in seven attempts.
For that, the squad led by Andy Farrell will have to hope for a great Johnny Sexton. The Irish opener almost missed the start of the World Cup due to his “bad behavior” on the sidelines of the Champions Cup final between La Rochelle and Leinster at the end of May (27-26). But the EPCR, lenient on this issue, finally sanctioned the 38-year-old player with a three-game suspension (served during the preparation of Ireland). Before potentially crossing paths with Fabien Galthié’s men in the quarter-finals, Ireland will face South Africa. Reigning world champions after his coronation in Japan in 2019, the Springboks will have a card to play in this World Cup.
SOUTH AFRICA FOR A DOUBLE, AUSTRALIA AND ENGLAND IN DECLINE
Large winner of Wales (56-16), last Saturday in Cardiff, South Africa made a fine demonstration of its strength. The only downside for coach Jacques Nienaber is the presence or absence of Handré Pollard. Injured in the calf since May, the 29-year-old opening half was not selected to participate in the competition and was registered as a reserve. But his physical condition seems to be improving—something to give hope to his coach. “Handré is almost in great shape; he just needs to do more physical work. He is in the return to the game phase. He is probably a week away from being ready to play, but he will still need to get back into shape,” he said in remarks reported by our colleagues from Rugbynistère. Good news for South African supporters,
In addition to these four big favorites, the injured beasts, England, Australia, and Wales, will be noticed. Despite their takeover by Eddie Jones, the Wallabies have been struggling to string together convincing results for several years and seem to be in sharp decline compared to international leaders. But, in the world, everything seems possible. This is also what we wish for England. Defeated by Ireland (29-10) last Saturday at the Aviva Stadium, the XV of the Rose could see the long Way to go to regain its standing. Finally, Wales will be noticed. Before thinking about the quarter-finals, the Welsh will have to extricate themselves from a Pool C made up of Portugal, Georgia, Australia, and Fiji. Pacific players dream of bringing down the Leek XV on September 10 at the Matmut Atlantique in Bordeaux to reach the quarter-finals.